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OBJECTIVE To identify whether age, sex, or breed is associated with crown height of the left and right maxillary first molar tooth (M1) measured on CT images, to develop a mathematical model to determine age of horses by use of M1 crown height, and to determine the correlation between M1 crown height measured on radiographic and CT images.

SAMPLE CT (n = 735) and radiographic images (35) of the heads of horses.

PROCEDURES Crown height of left and right M1 was digitally measured on axial CT views. Height was measured on a lateral radiographic image when available. Linear regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with crown height. Half the data set was subsequently used to generate a regression model to predict age on the basis of M1 crown height, and the other half was used to validate accuracy of the predictions.

RESULTS M1 crown height decreased with increasing age, but the rate of decrease slowed with increasing age. Height also differed by sex and breed. The model most accurately reflected age of horses < 10 years old, although age was overestimated by a mean of 0.1 years. The correlation between radiographic and CT crown height of M1 was 0.91; the mean for radiographic measurements was 2.5 mm greater than for CT measurements.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE M1 crown height can be used to predict age of horses. Results for CT images correlated well with those for radiographic images. Studies are needed to develop a comparable model with results for radiographic images.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



The objectives of this study were to investigate scattered radiation doses to the hands of equine workers holding the cassette and the x-ray tube by hand, for both limb and vertebral column studies, and to compare the scattered radiation attenuation of lead with radiation protection lead-free gloves. Radiation doses to the hands of the cassette holder in the primary beam were also investigated.


A whole-body horse cadaver.


A portable x-ray unit was used to simulate 6 radiographic study types in the horse cadaver. Doses were measured with no shielding and, for cassette holders, with the ion chamber enclosed in a lead glove and a lead-free glove. Thirty exposures were performed for each study view and condition (n = 1,920).


Mean scattered doses to x-ray unit operators were higher than doses to cassette holders for ungula (hoof), thoracic vertebrae, and lumbar vertebrae studies, whereas doses to cassette holders were higher than doses to x-ray tube operators for studies of the metacarpophalangeal joint (fetlock) and tarsus (hock). Doses did not differ for the stifle joint. Mean percentage decrease in scattered radiation dose was 99.58% with lead gloves and 98.9% with lead-free gloves.


X-ray tube operators can be exposed to equal or higher scattered radiation doses to the hand as cassette holders. Lead-free hand shielding should only be considered as an alternative to lead gloves if their lighter weight increases frequency of use by workers.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research